Bob Calhoun

Bob Calhoun
Pacifica, California, USA
June 18
Bob Calhoun is a regular contributor to Film Salon and observer of offbeat media. His 2008 punk-wrestling memoir "Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling" (ECW Press) has spent one entire week on the San Francisco Chronicle's Bay Area bestseller list.

Editor’s Pick
MAY 4, 2011 2:40AM

Barackamania is Running Wild and Politics IS Wrestling

Rate: 7 Flag

 Trump WrestleMania
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump back when he still possessed an air of dignity.

Does Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, have top secret security clearance?

According to a Monday Huffington Post article, his Sunday postings on Twitter may reveal that the former WWE champion and star of "Fast Five" knew about the death of Osama bin Laden "long before Obama spoke to the nation."

"Just got word that will shock the world — Land of the free ... home of the brave," the Rock tweeted on May 1, "DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!" In following tweets the Rock wrote that he couldn't ask for a better birthday present while his 564,609 Twitter followers could only wonder what he was talking about.

Does this mean that SEAL Team Six shares information with The Rock's Team Bring It (t-shirts available on Or maybe Barack Obama really does transform into The Rock Obama just like he does in so many "Saturday Night Live" skits and the president couldn't hide even the most closely guarded state secrets from his rampaging alter-ego.

The revelation that the Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment is privy to N2 naval intelligence briefings came the night after President Obama took the podium at the White House Correspondents' Dinner to "Real American," Hulk Hogan's entrance theme from the 1980s. Sadly, President Obama didn't rip off his shirt and flex his muscles while cupping his hand to his ear to better hear the cheers of the Barakamaniacs in the crowd the way that the Hulkster would have. Instead, the president left the theatrics to a video montage, which included images of Hogan himself doing his patented pose down along with clips of the hair metal band Poison, Ralph Macchio going into the crane stance and Obama's just released birth certificate.

Hulk Hogan: Real American
Tags: Hulk Hogan: Real American

Produced and recorded by 70s rocker Rick Derringer ("Rock 'n Roll Hoochie Koo") and sporting back-up vocals by Cindi Lauper, "Real American" was released on "The Wrestling Album," a compilation of mostly novelty tunes performed by the likes of The Junkyard Dog and Hillbilly Jim released in 1985. The anthem was originally intended as the entrance music for the patriotic tag-team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, who were feuding with Nicolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik at the time. But fate intervened in the form of Windham leaving the then World Wrestling Federation for a Florida grappling league, and the tune was then recycled as the music that Hogan would flex his pectorals to while celebrating his ring victories. If the song had remained the theme of a mostly forgotten tag-team, it's doubtful that Obama would have used its repetitive chorus to taunt potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and like-minded birthers at the correspondent's dinner.

Seated in the audience, Trump scowled like a bad guy wrestler, or at least a bad guy wrestling manager, as Obama and "SNL" head writer Seth Meyers landed vicious verbal chops to Trump's enormous ego during their remarks. As our political discourse mirrored what they call "cutting a promo" in pro wrestling parlance, it was amazing that The Donald didn't slam Obama with a steel chair. While Obama is definitely familiar with the world of what is now called sports entertainment and may even seek inspiration from current WWE champ John Cena, Trump appeared at WrestleMania 23 in 2007 where he shaved the head of Vince McMahon. Disappointingly, Trump's comb over was spared the razor, even though most of us who tuned into that pay-per-view wanted to see the host of "The Apprentice" finally made to look like Superman's billionaire foe Lex Luthor. Regardless of the pre-planned outcome, Trump earned $4 million for the Donald J. Trump Foundation for putting up coiffure on the line.

But a sizable charitable donation isn't the only thing that Trump has received from McMahon as Vince was yelling "YOU'RE FIRED" in the face of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin years before "The Apprentice" first aired in 2004. If Trump's campaign should become something more than Hulk Hogan's publicity stunt bid for the presidency in 2000 (yes, Hogan pretended to run too), you can expect McMahon to supply campaign contributions as well as catch phrases. However, the McMahons (who just threw $50 million on Linda McMahon's losing senate campaign last year) might want to reconsider ousting President Obama. Not only is he the most sports entertainment friendly president since Bill Clinton confessed to watching "American Gladiators," but his command decision had multitudes of Americans chanting "USA! USA!"--something I used to only hear in arenas when Sgt. Slaughter fought the Iron Sheik.

HEY EVERYBODY: I'm on nerd friendly comedian Jackie Kashian's very popular podcast The Dork Forest this week talking about pro wrestling, convention going and how Trekkies are the only hope for humanity. Click here to give it a listen. 

Bob Calhoun is the author of  the bestselling punk-wrestling memoir, Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling, which is available through You can follow him on Twitter @bob_calhoun.

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I always thought it would be better for the world if political leaders just sorted out their differences and disputes in the ring rather then via troops and mayhem. Less collateral damage and more fun for us to watch. :)
@Nick, It's a distinct possibility that the 2012 Republican primary could be settled at WWE Summer Slam.
I'm looking forward to a Royal Rumble. Can you imagine if Chris "Earthquake" Christie gets in the ring?
Maybe I should update this piece to include a run-in by Donald "Mr. Wonderful II" Trump?
@Robert, How in the hell are you? Great Odin/Thor piece btw. I think what we are experiencing in national politics right now is, in fact, a run-in by Donald Trump. We'll have to see if they carry this thing through to next year or if it becomes just another dropped angle. It's kind of like the Rock vs. Cena that way.
Rome is the mob...the beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, its the wrestling ring in the Coliseum. :)

Both Obama and The Rock know to win the crowd.
I don't expect Trump to actually get in the ring, but I wouldn't be surprised if he engaged in some outside interference to promote his brand. Whoever does get in the ring, I expect "Killer" Obama to to retain the championship. He's looking pretty unbeatable this week. Glad you liked the Thor piece; when I'm not being a professional wrestling nerd, I moonlight as a comic book geek.